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The world is waiting. What will you become? 

How many times were you asked this growing up? More than you can count? You’d think we’d all have pretty good answers by the time we reached adulthood, but for many, the answer does not come easily. Iowa Western Community College (IWCC) understands that people often need an encouraging atmosphere to explore their strengths and fine-tune their skills before they can carve out their path. Located in the Loess Hills of Council Bluffs, Iowa, this campus has been a place of self-discovery and opportunity for 50 years. Growing from an inaugural enrollment of just seven students to nearly 6,000, IWCC has become an educational staple in its region. Students choose IWCC for many reasons – whether it’s to build a career with its construction technology program or to learn about the innovative field of robotics and automated technology, the possibilities are nearly endless with 84 vocational / technical / liberal arts programs to choose from. Ready for an education? It’s time to learn more about IWCC.

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Last week, the House of Representatives passed yet another version of healthcare reform legislation (yawn!) to which their colleagues in the U.S. Senate responded, “No thank you, we’ll start from scratch with our own reform package!” And so the saga continues: to reform or not to reform, that is the question. But on the off-chance that this latest version of reform ever sees the light of day, here is a short summary of the provisions of the American Health Care Act (AHCA).

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Since late 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been working on a revision to Title 29 of the United States Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Parts 1902 and 1904. The primary purpose of the amendment is to improve the tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses. Adoption of the final ruling was released on May 12, 2016, and the components applicable to reporting are set to become effective on January 1, 2017. Anti-retaliatory regulations were initially slated to become effective on August 10, 2016, but due to industry concerns with the scope of these regulations, the implementation date has been delayed (at the time of this writing) to November 1, 2016. The delay will impact the anti-retaliatory components that directly affect the ability of employers to perform post-injury drug screens. Given the current and impending changes, it is important that employers understand the new rules and ensure that their post-injury drug testing policies are compliant with the guidelines set forth and enforced by OSHA.

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Have you ever considered renting your home, apartment or secondary property for some extra income? Homeowners around the globe are using online outlets such as Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway to rent out their properties for daily, weekly and monthly fees. These companies cater to owners who may be away for extended periods of time or those who would like to cash in on major events coming to their cities when hotels are at full capacity and visitors are seeking alternative lodging options. For people with desirable ZIP codes, this can become a nice revenue stream. However, before handing your keys over to a third party proprietor, there are several important issues to consider to help ensure that you and your property are protected.

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SilverStone Group believes it is important to keep you updated on the repeal/replace activity as it evolves. House Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee and the Ways and Means Committee issued a proposed reconciliation “bill” late in the evening on March 6. It will be marked up this week and voted on very soon. It is slightly different than the summary provided to you last week.

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Self-driving. Autopilot. Lane assist. Self-braking. Semi-autonomous. Highly autonomous. Fully autonomous. These terms are all used to describe the automation of driving. As this technology becomes more sophisticated, it will likely lead to some major changes in the way we insure vehicles. Many people are beginning to speculate that it could even eliminate the need to obtain coverage for liability to third parties. It won’t be long before autonomous vehicles are everywhere on our roadways, so we have to wonder – could there be some truth to this growing suspicion?

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Since the election of President Trump, there has been widespread speculation on just what format the long-awaited “ACA Repeal and Replace” legislation might take. In that vein, we believe it might be helpful to review some high-level thoughts on the potential impact of the draft Republican Reconciliation Bill, for which the reviewing and scoring process should begin this week.

Please keep in mind that the Bill has not yet passed, and if it passes, it is highly unlikely that it will pass in its exact current format. Again, please keep in mind that these are high-level thoughts only:

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The debate continues over how governmental entities should fund their pension plans. Unlike pension plans sponsored by private corporations, generally no federal laws exist that define an annual minimum required contribution. Some state and local governments have laws that define a minimum required contribution, while others have none. Most stakeholders agree on several funding policy objectives. However, some objectives are considered controversial, and even when a general objective is agreed upon, some may disagree on how to best achieve or measure the objective.

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In June 2015, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) released new accounting standards that will significantly change how public sector employers report their other post-retirement benefits (OPEB) in their financial statements. The new accounting standards will require reporters of the financial results and the actuaries who assist them to significantly change their procedures as they relate to OPEB reporting. This article will provide a high-level summary of the changes and effective dates of the new accounting standards (more detailed technical summaries of the changes will be provided in subsequent articles). It will also address a planning opportunity to conform to the new accounting standards that could potentially reduce the effort and expense involved in the transition.

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Virtually all liability insurance policies require insureds to give notice of an occurrence promptly (or as soon as practical). When an actual claim is made or a lawsuit is filed, the notice requirements become even more important. Furthermore, the reporting requirements can be different depending on whether the liability policy is written on an occurrence basis or a claims-made basis. The following article will elaborate on the two policy types and outline the important differences in those requirements.

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